Making the Most Out of Failure

Propaganda, Faux-Reality, And Truth
In the past few days, the North Korean regime has been snake-oiling prodigiously.  Its propaganda machine has been operating at peak capacity.  It has been trumpeting its universal good-citizenship.  It has decided to destroy forever its underground nuclear testing site.  This surely must “prove” its good faith in the upcoming talks with the United States.  

Sadly, in a regime so out of touch with truth, lying is perpetual.
  Back in October, long before direct talks with America were on the horizon, even whilst Trump was mocking Kim Jong Un with the title, “Rocket Man”, the Japanese authorities released intelligence on the “state” and “performance” of North Korea’s underground nuclear testing facility.

Japanese media are reporting that a new tunnel under construction at North Korea’s Punggye-ri test site collapsed this month, killing up to 200 laborers.  The UK Telegraph notes that outside observers do not know the exact date of the collapse because the North Korean regime is not eager to discuss the incident, but it reportedly occurred after North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test detonation to date on September 3.

According to the Japanese report, the tunnel collapsed and trapped or killed about one hundred laborers who were working on expanding it. Another hundred were killed in a second collapse while attempting to rescue the first group.  As the Telegraph notes, the powerful September 3 blast reportedly collapsed several underground structures near Punggye-ri, as well as causing landslides on the surface.

Japan’s Asahi TV sourced its report to a North Korean official, who said the collapse occurred sometime around October 10. South Korean officials indicated they were aware of the report but could not confirm it.  Newsweek quotes experts who believe further testing in the existing Punggye-ri tunnels would risk a catastrophic collapse, but the Kim regime is unwilling to abandon the site entirely, so it is attempting to dig new tunnels to the north under the Mantapsan mountain. South Korean scientists informed their legislature on Monday that further nuclear tests by North Korea could not only trigger underground collapses, but risk spreading radioactive material into South Korea or China.

Chinese geologists have reportedly warned North Korea that further nuclear tests at Punggye-ri could cause the facility to collapse, although the Chinese Foreign Ministry would not confirm that such warnings have been formally delivered to Pyongyang.  “China cannot sit and wait until the site implodes. Our instruments can detect nuclear fallout when it arrives, but it will be too late by then. There will be public panic and anger at the government for not taking action,” a researcher from Peking University explained. Another researcher expressed fears that fallout from tunnel collapses after another blast could “spread to an entire hemisphere.”  [Breitbart London]

In recent days, we have had the North Korean “spin” on the shutting down of its nuclear test facility:

SEOUL, South Korea—North Korea said Saturday that it would dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks, an event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump next month.  Pyongyang plans to destroy all of the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground with an explosion and remove observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.  “A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25,” depending on weather conditions, the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

North Korea’s announcement comes days after the U.S. said the historic summit between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump will be held June 12 in Singapore.   North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June 12th.  Mr. Trump, in a Saturday evening post on his Twitter account, thanked North Korea for its plan to dismantle the nuclear test site, calling it “a very smart and gracious gesture!”  Mr. Kim had already revealed plans to shut down the test site by the end of May during his summit last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. 

Ain’t spin a wunnerful thing!
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